Centenary Medal – Beth Fitzpatrick

Born in Vancouver BC, raised in the small Howe Sound pulp mill town of Woodfibre, Beth attended UBC and graduated in 1955 with her BSN and RN.

She worked with the Victorian Order of Nurses for two years in Ontario and BC, before joining the faculty at UBC as an instructor, teaching maternity nursing.  Anxious for more challenges, Beth then obtained her Master of Science in Nursing and her U.S. Certification in Nurse Midwifery from Yale University School of Nursing in 1967.

She faced a dilemma: should she return to Canada or remain in the U.S. where there were exciting opportunities to use her newly acquired skills? Choosing to remain in Connecticut, Beth married in 1972 and acquired a ready-made teen-age family.

Beth was particularly proud of being appointed director of the well-known Preparation for Childbirth and Parenthood Program at Yale New Haven Hospital and of being the first nurse-midwife in Connecticut appointed to the professional staff of the hospital’s medical department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She worked for nine years in a private practice with three obstetricians when this was a pioneering nursing practice. Later she joined the faculty at the School of Nursing at Southern Connecticut State University as assistant professor, then tenured associate professor where she taught obstetric nursing.

Beth moved back to BC in 1988, joined the UBC School of Nursing faculty as an adjunct professor and held an administrative and educator position in obstetrics at Richmond General Hospital for several years. After officially retiring she turned her attention to the support of the BC History of Nursing Society where she was newsletter editor and instrumental in creating their award-winning website.

In 2013 Beth and her husband moved back to Connecticut to be closer to family.